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Hangman a boon for Soweto businessman

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Hangman is down to the final seven as the Western Cape’s Rupert Taljaard made a shock exit from the show at the weekend.
However, there was good news for one Sowetan spaza distribution business which received nearly R1,4 million in the form of a vehicle, equipment, seed money, stock, business training and exposure after working with Hangman’s Team Sondela.
Brian Makwaiba, who is the brainchild behind Vuleka mobile spaza shops, is the proud new owner of a Mercedes Benz Vito — wheels that will add a whole new dimension to the success of his start up.
“I cannot believe it,” says Makwaiba. “I needed time to digest it — I am floating right now and I am not sure when I will get back down to earth. Being on the show has opened up so many opportunities to us through the exposure it’s created. Getting the truck has meant the difference between being profitable or not — so this means we will be thriving going forward.”
Makwaiba came up with the idea for the Vuleka app and business after he had to leave medical school because his parents didn’t have the money for his university fees. The progress and changes made in his Brian’s business attracted the attention of a global pharmaceutical company.
They have been searching for a service to distribute their over-the-counter products into spaza stores in Gauteng for some time. Brian’s decisions from working with Team Sondela to specialise in pure distribution impressed them. They approached Aurik Enterprise Development to work with Brian to develop his business to support bigger volumes, wider distribution and a growing customer base across Gauteng. The programme designed by Aurik will upskill Brian in marketing, sales, operations and finance to build the systems and processes himself and enable him to take his business to whatever level he chooses.
While Makwaiba is celebrating, 45-five-year-old Taljaard from Yzerfontein will be forging ahead with his invention — off set. He had impressed the judges with his Halt Lock, a revolutionary anti-theft/anti hijacking device that prevents the driveshaft of a stolen vehicle from turning the wheels, thus preventing its theft.
However, it was Team Sondela who won this round of the Cell C reality show — broadcast on e.tv on Sundays at 11h50 — which is hosted by Maps Maponyane with R1-million up for grabs. Makwaiba was the beneficiary of their team effort.
The remaining innovators and their inventions, are:
* Bonex Mwakikunga (aged 50 from Pretoria): Breath-Tech Sensor, a diabetes breathalyser.
* Chelsea Anne Hornby (aged 24 from Roodepoort): Elle reusable menstrual cup and female hygiene management.
* Christo Rossouw (aged 35 from Klerksdorp): Mosquito repellent lamp.
* Claire Reid (aged 31 from Parkview, Johannesburg): Reel Gardening, a pre-fertilised, pre-spaced colour-coded seed tape.
* Dean Fegen (aged 41 from Alberton): The Polyhammer which replaces the need for copper and rubber hammers in underground mining.
* Lebohang Motsoeneng (aged 28 from Naturena in Johannesburg): The I-waiter is an electronic button device that attracts the attention of a restaurant waiter via a fashionable vibrating watch.
* Sean T Armstrong (aged 35 from Bedfordview): Uni Click is a safety syringe that improves the safety, accuracy and precision of medical dosing.
The Top seven have to win the approval of the ‘Backers’ (judges), captains of industry and investment, who are celebrity economist Iraj Abedian; self-made billionaire Quinton van der Burgh; Bonang Mohale, CEO of Business Leadership South Africa and businesswoman and entrepreneur Connie Mashaba.
However, Hangman is much more than a TV show with a weekly broadcast. Viewers can enjoy 24/7 entertainment via a Cell C Reality app where they can truly immerse themselves in the show. They can play “The Exchange” and win great prizes; get to know the Backers and watch sneak peek behind-the-scenes footage. Viewers can also get involved in the show itself — if their service matches a contestants’ need, they stand a chance to be in front of cameras.
All customers that download the Cell C Reality App automatically receive 100 000 points which they can use to participate in the ‘The Exchange’. Points are allocated to play the game. Customers win a variety of prizes by playing the game, including a car, scooter, smartphones, data, cash and vouchers.
The innovator who succeeds in garnering the support of the Backers, while rallying viewer/ ‘investor’ sentiment, could walk away with a R1 million cash prize and everything needed to succeed in a 21st century market.
Contestants and viewers do not need to be a Cell C customer to play or download the App but Cell C customers will receive bonuses for participation and watching the show.
Hangman airs on e.tv (on DStv it can be found on channel 194) on Sundays at 11h50 with a repeat on Saturdays at 13h00. It also broadcasts on eExtra on Wednesdays at 19h30 with a repeat on Thursdays at 10h00.